Title ECO4VET - Improvement of Vocational Education and Training related to Ecodesign in the Furniture Sector
Project Number 539774-LLP-1-2013-1-ES-LEONARDO-LMP
Project Type Development of Innovation
Country EU-Centralised Projects
Marketing Text ECO4VET project (2013-2015) is an initiative of 10 partners (including furniture associations, VET providers and VET policy makers) from 7 UE countries for the reduction of the furniture industry environmental impact and their product lifecycle improvement by creating a standard curriculum for the qualification of furniture professionals regarding Ecodesign and Sustainable Production.
In recent years, factors such as restrictions in environmental legislation, the release of standard guidelines for incorporating ecodesign, and specially the appearance of emerging markets very demanding with the product sustainability, have created new needs for furniture manufacturers.
The lack of an official curriculum on ecodesign and sustainable production directly affects the traditional manufacturing furniture industry, which is dominated by microenterprises (86% of EU enterprises have less than 10 workers). The size and structure of these EU furniture companies do not help adapting the workers to these new requirements (legislation, environmental, market). Furthermore, taking into account the recent consolidation of ISO 14006 regarding ecodesign, it is necessary to address the training needs of the different enterprises that want to implement it.
ECO4VET aims at addressing the identified educational gap in the furniture sector by developing tools and methods for training workers in “Ecodesign and Sustainable Production”.
The consortium includes sectoral associations from Spain, Belgium and Poland, VET providers from Spain, Turkey, Romania, Greece and Italy and VET policy makers from Spain and Poland.
The motivation behind ECO4VET is to respond to the social demand for using more environmentally friendly materials, processes and services in the furniture sector. The green market for the furniture sector represents an opportunity to be more innovative, to create jobs and to give added value products to compete with low wages economies.
The demand for eco furniture is rapidly growing but can’t be satisfied by furniture manufacturers. The main reason is the lack of skills and knowledge in this field in a traditional manufacturing sector as currently, there are no specific further vocational trainings available in European countries related to Ecodesign and Sustainable Production in the Furniture Sector. Designers, production, purchasing and logistics staff, managers and responsible of management systems are not fully supported with skills and furthermore, external consulting services are too expensive and can’t be affordable by European Furniture SMEs. This damages their competitiveness.
ECO4VET main objective is addressing this identified educational gap in Ecodesign and Sustainable Production in the Furniture Sector by developing tools and methods for training workers regarding this topic.
ECO4VET will address the vocational skills mismatches and shortages described above by:
1. Defining the skills needs related to Ecodesign, Sustainability and Environmental Management in the furniture Industry.
2. Designing a novel joint curriculum in Ecodesign and Sustainable Production in the Furniture Industry taking into account innovative learning methods (including learning from experience methods as innovative ways of delivering VET in response to evolving skills needs).
3. Developing a Multilingual Learning Platform for distance training and integrating the designed e-learning modules in it.
4. Testing though a Pilot Demonstration and delivering the curriculum.
5. Ensuring that the outcomes are effectively disseminated, exploited and the results are integrated into qualification structure in the field of the wood sector
ECO4VET main outputs will be:
• A joint curriculum on Ecodesign and Sustainable Production for the Furniture Sector
• Learning objects available in all the consortium languages
• An e-learning platform
The consortium is committed to turning the ECO4VET platform, the e-learning modules and the training path in Ecodesign and Sustainable Production in the Furniture Industry into a full commercial service to be rolled out onto the European market in a reasonable period of time and also to potential project results’ transfer to other countries or sectors.
Utilization and distribution of results
program or curricula
The main outcomes of the project will be the e-earning platform and training materials in Ecodesign and Sustainable Production for the furniture sector:
• Training Guidelines: will summarize the joint curriculum designed, inform on their classification in reference to ECQ, and defining training objectives, learning units and modes of delivery.
• Training Course Materials: a set of educational materials in different formats (notes, lecturing slides and videos, activities and exams,…).
• E-learning Platform: the final content, will be uploaded into the platform and integrated under learning paths. Each learning path will facilitate a training module and will comprise all the objects (flash objects, videos, urls, etc.) that make up the units of the module.
• Project website